Next up in the #TheNeverListLettered with another ingredient to avoid in your personal care and beauty products...

and this one gets MAJOR pushback from so many because they are prescribed this by their dermatologists or they have used an OTC version of it in their skincare and love the results...keep reading):


❓What is retinol?

Retinol is the bioavaiable form of Vitamin A and there are 2 categories: retinoids and carotenoids.  Natural retinoids are fat-soluable and contained in animal-based foods.  Carotenoids are the provitamin A found in plant-based foods.

Before I get into the avoidance factor - what are the benefits of Retinol?

  1. Retains and promotes collagen production so skin looks firmer and smoother
  2. Stimulates cell turnover which helps to smoothen the skin surface and even out discolorations
  3. Synthesis of retinol -> RETINAL and that is a substance that’s essential for visual health

⭐️So of course - heck to the yes... we all want those things. I get it. 

But did you know that there’s a way for us to get these benefits WITHOUT TOPICALLY applying retinoids where there is serious potential for more harm than good?

Let’s first talk about why you SHOULDN’T use retinoids topically and then I’ll share how you SHOULD seek out vitamin A.  This may be surprising to some since you’ve learned how much the FDA DOESN’T do/CAN’T do for the safety of personal care products and the enforcement of removal of those found to be harmful...but they’ve actually got something to say about Retinol and it’s this: 

🔺Data from an FDA study indicates that retinoid ingredients may damage DNA and speed the development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin.

🔺The FDA has also labeled Retinol as a “Known Human Reproductive Toxicant.”

A common pushback with any talk of ingredient safety and avoiding potential or to be harmful ingredients is “yea...but I’m not concerned at all considering the low doses in the products I use.” 🤯 The cumulative nature of ‘low doses’ is a real thing...how many days, weeks, years, decades even, have you been applying the same products that you’ve loved? 👇🏻

🔺National Toxicology Program shared studies of one or more animals showing tumor formation at VERY LOW DOSES as it was applied to skin and lips.

🔺In-vitro tests of mammalian cells showed positive mutation as a result of the absorption of retinol. “Mutations in genes can cause cancer by accelerating cell division rates or inhibiting normal controls on the system, such as cell cycle arrest or programmed cell death.  As a amass of cancerous cells grow, it can develop into a tumor.”

📣For the people in the back - yes, your derm who prescribed your Retinol creams told you to only apply at night so you wouldn’t be using it while exposed to the sun. But personally? I fall on the side of ‘why take the chance of the consequences with your chemical makeup when there’s a way for you to receive the benefits in a safer way?’ (keep reading for that). 

📣THE ISSUE here is the issue we have with so many things in this industry: these potentially/known to be harmful ingredients are interweaved into SO many of our products that if you’re not looking on your labels, you will miss it.  Want to know one that is most infuriating?  When you see Retinyl Palmitate or Retinol on the label of your SUNSCREEN. 🔆🤯🤬  Are you seeing why we need an update to our legislation?



Ok. Take a breather, Mol. 

Woo-sah.  [Rubbing my ears...Will Smith/Bad Boys reference, you feel me?]



So how SHOULD we be getting Vitamin A so that we can take part in all those benefits discussed above?

Simple - we don’t NEED to and SHOULDN’T put it ON our bodies, but we CAN and SHOULD get the benefits from putting it IN your body through whole, organic foods. 

This gives you the benefits of balanced nutrient levels from your diet as Vitamin A works with other nutrients like Vitamin D, K2, zinc and magnesium to support optimal health. Check out the table here (source: Mercola.com) to see some ways to introduce retinol/vitamin A in your diet and if you haven’t incorporated them regularly, it’s time to think about it!


Not only that, consider a collagen supplement to add to your coffee, meals, even water. I love my Vital Proteins Collagen.  (FYI Affiliate Amazon link - but not an #ad) I add 2 scoops to my AM coffee every morning and I can tell you that my nails and hair have benefitted and my skin (along with my consistent AM and PM regimens that I use) has been at its best since doing this.

Sources: FDA.gov, Mercola.com, EWG.org